Ribery optimistic over France fitness battle

The Bayern Munich man believes he will recover from a back injury in time for his nation’s first World Cup game against Honduras

France winger Franck Ribery is optimistic of winning his fitness battle in time to feature in his country’s World Cup opener against Honduras on June 15.

The Bayern Munich man missed the comfortable 4-0 friendly victory over Norway on May 27 as he continues to recover from an ongoing back problem.

The 31-year-old was also an unused substitute during France’s 1-1 draw against Paraguay on Sunday as doubts continue to be cast over whether Ribery will make it in time for France’s first game in Brazil.

However, the player is remaining optimistic about his chances of lining up alongside his national team-mates against Honduras in Port Alegre.

“Today I tried to run a little,” Ribery told Bild Sport.

“I have a test tomorrow, and then we will see. Hopefully, everything will then be in order.”

The French Football Federation (FFF) had reportedly given Ribery until Friday to prove his fitness, but with coach Didier Deschamps having up to 24 hours before the opening game against Honduras to name a replacement, the FFF have pushed back the deadline.

Should the 31-year-old fail to recover in time, though, Deschamps will likely choose between Montpellier midfielder Remy Cabella or Lyon’s Alexandre Lacazette to start in Ribery’s absence.

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